"CRUSADERS AND CHRONICLERS"
GS 156 -- W 7.30 - 9.25 pm
PAUL R. HYAMS
Office Hours MG 307: Wednesdays 1:30 – 2:30 pm, and by arrangement
The full version of this course prospectus is
available in my Web
at URL: htpp://falcon.arts.cornell.edu/prh3/447/index.html.
That text will be periodically updated and so takes priority over the hard copy.
You should also check out the page for HISTORY 259 at htpp://falcon.arts.cornell.edu/prh3/259/index.html
for translated sources, links and other useful material
This course is as much about reading medieval narrative sources, chronicles etc., as it is about the Crusades. By the semester end, you will have read and studied some of the most influential historical works of the 12th and 13th centuries. You will also have sampled a lot more western contemporary views and comments on the western crusades to the eastern mediterranea as well as some of the more easily accessible Muslim counter-views.
We shall submit these works and views to critical examination in class in order to position ourselves to assess the information they contain for itself and, doubtless also, for what it tells us about the formation of western culture and, especially its nomination of moslems etc. to act as the "Other". You may also read Madden's Concise History and samples of contemporary documents (in translation) to equip you for a narrative understanding of the expeditions and the Latin settlements in Syria over the period from, say, 1095-1291. This is not, however, the main goal.
The real aim is to study ways in which westerners represented their
success and failures in crusades to the east and some of the
for western culture. So we study problems. My selection criteria have
diverse: to introduce different kinds of source and different
of study, including a simple example of the computer text-base searches
and analysis which will be a part of all our lives for the forseeable
I have also been guided by the availability of materials in pleasantly
accessible English! We start from contemporary chronicles etc. rather
(as courses usually do) from modern secondary accounts. This is a tough
option. You cannot expect quick results; nor will I expect them of you
at grading time. Your challenge is to build up your own understanding
your own pace in the course of the semester. You must work towards this
by posing questions at the sources. Sample starter questions
and each section are included below. Start by identifying relevant
from your sources and then, in class, firing your questions about them
at the instructor. He will be able to answer a few on the spot; suggest
ways of looking at others; then refer you to other primary sources and
secondary materials for the rest. Thus your secondary reading will be
by the sources. Which is how it should be in theory! Once you have
into your chronicles, I can help with bibliography when you need it.
Advice on Source Criticism is available for you to try.
[For exemplary use of multiple sources to investigate a highly complex set of contentions, try a chapter or so of The 9/11 Commission Report (Norton: New York & London, 2004).]
I have always tried to keep this course flexible, so that we could improvise if we wished. The last time I taught it, adaptation was forced on us by the intervention of 9-11. This explains my inclusion of some Arabic sources this time. What we lose by complicating the purely Western approach with which I started, we shall I hope compensate for in cross-cultural insights plus, of course, the chance to discuss the modern relevance of crusades as concept and image. Do not expect to be expert in all the readings by Week 14! I give sample topics and potential questions below, but do not tie them to specific weeks. You should also regard the due dates for assignments (the calendar at the very end of the prospectus) as a rough guide only.
REQUIRED READINGS (available from Campus Store etc.):
Madden, Concise History of the Crusades
William of Tyre, A History of Deeds Done Beyond the Seas, tr. Babcock & Krey (1943) [Course Packet]
Joinville and Villehardouin, Chronicles of the Crusades, ed. M.R.B. Shaw
Hitti, An Arab-Syrian Gentleman... [Usamah inbn-Munqidh's Memoirs]
H. Gibb, Damascus Chronicle of the Crusades
D. Richards, The Rare and Excellent History of Saladin [Behaeddin]
For the Text-Base on the First Crusade (HIDES Clermont package), see below under COURSE REQUIREMENTS, 1.
H.E. Mayer, The Crusades, tr. J. Gillingham (2nd ed.)
D 151. G11 1969 --- F. GABRIELI ARAB HISTORIANS
D151. S53 1963 --- JOINVILLE & VILLEHARDOUIN, CHRONICLES OF THE CRUSADES
D152. G95 1943 --- WILLIAM OF TYRE, HISTORY OF DEEDS DONE BEYOND SEAS (2 vols.)
D157. E66 1977 --- ERDMANN, ORIGIN OF THE IDEA OF CRUSADE (1977)
D157. R57 --- RILEY-SMITH, SHORT HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES
D157.M46 1988 --- MAYER, THE CRUSADES, TR. J. GILLINGHAM (2ND ED. )
D161. 1. F76 1969 --- RYAN (ED) FULCHER OF CHARTRES, HIST. OF EXPEDITION TO JERUSALEM
D161.1.G83 G47x 1997 --- GUIBERT OF NOGENT, THE DEEDS OF GOD THROUGH THE FRANKS
D161. 1. G39 1962 --- HILL (ED) GESTA FRANCORUM
D161. 2. R57 --- RILEY-SMITH 1ST CRUSADE & THE IDEA OF CRUSADING
D162. 1. O25 --- BERRY (ED) ODO OF DEUIL, THE JOURNEY OF LOUIS VII TO THE EAST
D164. A3. R63 --- MCNEAL (ED) ROBERT OF CLARI, THE CONQUEST OF CONSTANTINOPLE
D187. P48 --- PETERS (ED.) CHRISTIAN SOCIETY & THE CRUSADES
DD3. M81 V. 19 --- BECKER, PAPST URBAN II (1088-1099), VOL II
DF 605 .C6 1969z --- SEWTER ANNA COMNENA, THE ALEXIAD
DS38.6 .H55x 2000 --- HILLENBRAND, THE CRUSADES: ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE
DS 102. P15, V. 5, NO. 4 --- THEODERICH, GUIDE TO THE HOLY LAND
DS102. F15, V. 13 --- BEHA-ED-DIN THE LIFE OF SALADIN, ED. C. CONDER
DS135. G31 J59 --- EIDELBURG (TR.) THE JEWS & THE CRUSADERS
DS97. U84 A33 1964 --- HITTI (TR.) MEMOIRS OF AN ARAB-SYRIAN GENTLEMAN
Q11. P53 V. 101 --- HILL (TR.) PETER TUDEBOD
Q11. P53 V. 71 --- HILL (TR.) RAYMOND D'AGUILERS, HISTORIA FRANCORUM
I may add a Folder of articles and other goodies during the term. This will include Douglas Thorburn, The Children's Crusade (Studies in Empathy 2, 1985)
Available in Olin 404:
+ BR60 .C812 v.63-63A --- HUYGENS (ED.), WILLIAM OF
+ BR 60 .C812 v.139 --- HUYGENS & PRIOR, PEREGRINATIONES TRES (incl Theodorich)
1. To obtain an adequate control of the HIDES Clermont package and its software (HIDES and Wordcruncher), including researching the questions asked on CRUSADE.HQS and presenting your answers in an on-disk Notebook. For this purpose, you will need your own formatted PC (MS-DOS) disk.The texts and software, along with copies of the fairly helpful manuals, have been installed at the Electronic Texts Center in Olin Library. Click on the icon "Start HIDES". For warning about a (minor) bug in the text base, Click Here
2. A brief (5+ pp.) critical source report on a First Crusade chronicle of your choice. (In addition to the text base, several full texts in translation are on Reserve.)
3. A 2nd brief paper (5+ pp.) on William of Tyre: How well does he do the task he set for himself in the preface?
4. A Final Paper on a topic of your choice, selected to
off some of the source study accomplished over the semester. or a paper
to answer the question: What have you learned over the semester to
your views on any current 2004 issue? Examples might be concepts of the
"Other", the case for and against religious fundamentalism, the
of force in international affairs, the virtues of the western media.
to be negotiated with me by Week 12 at the latest. This will
make up at least 75% of final grade.
5. Active participation in class discussion, including prepared oral presentations to pose questions and direct attention to problem passages in the texts. Be sure to bring texts to class wherever possible.
I THE FIRST CRUSADE (Wks 1-4)
In what terms did people describe and understand the events of 1095-9? By what stages did they reach some kind of agreement? What existing notions or institutions (eg pilgrimage, penance, just or holy war etc.) did they draw on for models etc.
How faithful is WT to his sources in your "book"?
II CRUSADES AND THE FIRST KINGDOM (Wks. 5-8)
What were WT's goals in writing? How far does he reveal them in his
preface? elsewhere in the book? Try the "lost" chapter about his
xix. 12. Who do you think he was writing for? (Latins in
the east? westerners? posterity?) Is a History different from a
Does WT depict a society ripe for the kind of conquest that happened in
1187? WT is clearly an informed, intelligent and accomplished writer.
does this affect his trustworthiness and value as a source? J. Prawer,
"The Jerusalem the Crusaders Captured", C&S (1985) A. Lindner,
& Iconography in 12th c. Jerusalem", Hattin, 81-98 B. Hamilton,
Zion: the Holy Places of Jerusalem in the 12th c.", SCH xiv. (1977)
Norman Daniel, The
Norman Daniel, Heroes and Saracens : an interpretation of the chansons de geste (1984) PQ205 .D18
Dorothee Metlitzki, The matter of Araby in medieval
R.W. Southern, Western Views of Islam in the Middle Ages (1962) BP172 .S67 1962 (Uris)
John Tolan (ed), Medieval Christian perceptions of Islam : a book of essays (1996) BP172 .M396x 1996 (Uris)
John Tolan, Saracens : Islam in the medieval European imagination (2002) BP172 .T62 2002
As-Sulami, Damascus Chronicle, Behaeddin,
Read as-Sulami (written 1105 in Damascus) initially to see whether it could be a direct reaction to the events of the First Crusade. Almost all of the literature assumes that Christian and Moslem differed greatly in their religious cultures and almost every piece of mental equipment with which they approached their confrontation from the time of the First Crusade on. How can one make a fair comparison? Do our efforts to do so reveal any levels on which believers on the two sides thought similarly? How far dare one generalize from a single text?
How far and in what ways did Arabic writers see the "Crusaders" as a
distinctive group? The quite swift reinvigoration of the notion of the
external Jihad is one indication that they did. Look at the group names
used. How distinctive did they look to Ibn al-Qalanisi?
Islamic historians regard the career of Saladin as a watershed in
historical writing almost as significant as the First Crusade was in
Latin historiography. Apart from Richards, you can scan other writers
from Gabrieli, Arab Historians of the Crusades
D151 .G11 1969 [On Reserve for another class], through encyclopedia
articles, or in syntheses by P.M. Holt. Note that much of Behaeddin's
long text is actually secondary in character.
Usamah is patently fun to read. Is he enything more? Given his date
of writing, how much should we trust his take on twelfth-century
relations between Frank and Muslim?
The best book for background is
The Crusades : Islamic perspectives by Carole Hillenbrand DS38.6
.H55x 2000 [? Uris Reserve]
IV THIRTEENTH-CENTURY CRUSADES Wks. 9-13
1. W Sept 1
2. W Sept 8 --- (This and the next two class meetings will be in OLIN LIBRARY 106, next door to the E.T.C.)
3. TBA [No class Sept 15 because of Rosh Hashanah]
4. W Sept 22
5. W Sept 29 MINI-PAPER I due today
6. W Oct 6
Eugenius II's Bull
7. W Oct 13
8. W Oct 20
9. W Oct 27
10. W Nov 3
11. W Nov 10 MINI-PAPER II
12. W Nov 17
13. TBA THANKSGIVING BREAK Nov 24 - 29
14. W Dec 5
STUDY PERIOD Dec 5-8
EXAM PERIOD Dec 9-17